Warner Bros. & DC Not Moving Forward With ‘Aquaman’ Feature Spinoff ‘The Trench’ & Ava DuVernay’s ‘New Gods’

With production having wrapped on Matt Reeves' The Batman  and cameras about to roll on New Line's Dwayne Johnson DC pic Black Adam, the comic book film franchise unfolds over the next few years as follows:
Warner Bros and DC Films released the following statement today in regards to the projects:
War ensues. The New Gods was the Genesis of the uber-villain Darkseid. Also called “Fourth World,” the story unfolded in a trilogy of related comics written and drawn by Kirby that were published in the very early 1970s: New Gods, Forever People and Mister Miracle. The deities inhabit two planets: one is New Genesis, a lush paradise, and the other Apokolips, which sounds like Dante’s version of hell. The New Gods came into existence after the world of the gods of classic mythology were destroyed during Ragnarok. Batman writer King was set to write New Gods.
Deadline has confirmed that DC Films will no longer be developing the properties New Gods which had Ava DuVernay attached to direct and Aquaman spinoff The Trench which Noah Gardner and Aidan Fitzgerald were penning for James Wan to possibly helm.
https://twitter.com/ava/status/1377725452228431873″ />
I hear The Trench is shelved due to Wan's busy schedule with Aquaman 2, while New Gods, originally created by Jack Kirby, was stopped as the parameters of that project far exceeded a feature standalone structure. The Trench, which was to have a horror bent, was based on the creature who Aquaman battles.
We thank our partners Ava DuVernay, Tom King, James Wan and Peter Safran for their time and collaboration during this process and look forward to our continued partnership with them on other DC stories. "As part of our DC slate, some legacy development titles including New Gods and The Trench will not be moving forward. The projects will remain in their skillful hands if they were to move forward in the future."
Additionally, development is underway on previously announced titles Superman, Zatanna, and Wonder Woman 3. Along with The Suicide Squad, The Batman and Black Adam, the future of the Justice League and the entire DC Multiverse will unfold in The Flash, which will usher in a new wave of interconnected DC stories throughout 2022 and 2023 with Aquaman 2, Shazam! Fury of the Gods, Blue Beetle, Supergirl, Green Lantern Corps, and Static Shock.

Warner Bros, DC Films And Chernin Teaming On ‘Hourman’ Film With Gavin James And Neil Widener Writing The Script

Over the past decade, D.C. While that never moved forward, the character was featured in Legends of Tomorrow where Tyler served as the leader of the group. has been playing with the ideas of how to proceed with an Hourman project, coming close in 2013 when they began developing a series around the Rex Tyler character for the CW.
Over the last couple of years, DC and WB have begun to ramp up there development on film projects like Hourman that aren't as popular as Batman or Superman in the DC canon. They recently tapped Charm City Kings director Angel Manuel Soto to helm Blue Beetle.
That series not only went on to gross more than $1.6 billion at the worldwide box office but also earned praise for its groundbreaking effects and motion-capture performances. As for Chernin, while they aren't known for developing comic book properties, it has shown the ability to successfully relaunch popular IP into box office and critical hits including the Planet of the Apes trilogy.
James and Widener are currently working on several projects including The Hot Wheels movie for WB and a sequel to San Andreas for New Line. Hourman also marks a reunion between Chernin and James and Widener who sold the pitch Liberty Road to 3000 Pictures with Chernin producing years ago.
Tyler would create a new synthesis, "Miraclo," which grants him super-strength and endurance, but only for one hour. Rex's son Rick Tyler would later become the hero, ultimately becoming the most popular Hourman as the years went on. Originally created by Ken Fitch and Bernard Baily in 1940, the hero had three different incarnations, with the first one featuring chemist Rex Tyler the first time we meet the character.
They are repped by CAA, Grandview and attorney Greg Slewett.” />
EXCLUSIVE: Warner Bros. The adaptation is being penned by writing duo Gavin James and Neil Widener. This will mark the first time Chernin has developed a DC property. and DC Films are developing an adaptation of the popular comic Hourman with Chernin Entertainment joining as producers.
It is unknown which character will play Hourman at this point.

Warner Bros. Sets Date For James Wan’s ‘Malignant’; ‘Godzilla Vs. Kong’ To Open Closer To Easter

Malignant is simply billed as "Wan’s return to his roots with this new original horror thriller."
Meanwhile, Legendary's Godzilla vs. Universal has their cool Bob Odenkirk action movie, which is hear is in the spirit of Atomic Blonde (imagine that), going on April 2, Good Friday.” /> King is going five days later domestically on Wednesday, March 31 (not March 26, though foreign markets will debut on that date). The notion is to play closer to Easter weekend, and get the five-day lift at the box office, not to mention spring break is then as well.
10 this year per Warner Bros. The movie, scheduled in the hot post Labor Day corridor that Warners created at the box office, fills the place for an untitled horror movie they had on the schedule. Again, this is part of their theatrical and HBO Max release plan. This just in: James Wan's upcoming horror movie Malignant is opening on Sept.

Warner Bros. Names Blake Bryant Communications Head Of Global Brands & Experiences

He’s got great instincts and a seasoned perspective and will help us take our communications strategies to the next level.” “A key component of this plan is effectively communicating directly with our various audiences, and we’re excited to have Blake joining the team to head up these efforts. “Since we founded GBE in 2018, our laser focus has been to develop and move our incredible brands and franchises even closer to our fans and become an organic part of their lives,” said Lifford.
Unscripted Television, with responsibility for all program publicity, marketing, brand management, media strategy, crisis communications and advertising creative for all programming produced by Warner Bros. Television’s three unscripted divisions (Warner Horizon Unscripted Television, Shed Media and Telepictures). Bryant worked on such series as The Ellen DeGeneres Show, The Bachelor and its spinoffs, Who Do You Think You Are?, The Real, Ellen’s Game of Games, Extra and Ava Duvernay’s first unscripted series, the upcoming Home Sweet Home. Prior to joining WBGBE, Bryant was SVP, Worldwide Marketing and Publicity, Warner Bros.
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He has been recognized with numerous Broadcast Marketing awards, including three local market Emmy Awards and Nominations and six NATAS Emmy wins for his work on The Ellen DeGeneres Show.
PR and marketing veteran Blake Bryant has been named Head of Communications for Warner Bros. Global Brands and Experiences.
Before joining Warner Bros., Bryant worked for seven years as VP of Creative Services at Disney/ABC Domestic Television where he oversaw consumer and sales marketing creative and advertising for the unit’s off-network and syndicated programming. Prior to his work at the studios, he spent more than 20 years in local television station marketing, publicity, production, programming, and station operations, including seven years with the NBC Owned Television Station group in Los Angeles, Chicago, and San Francisco.
He’ll manage the teams responsible for consumer publicity, while also serving as lead on executive, business and strategic communications. Bryant will oversee external and internal communications for Global Brands and Experiences, DC, Warner Bros. Consumer Products, Themed Entertainment and the Global Franchise group. He'll also work with the various publicity teams across the Studios and Networks Group on all franchise-related communications.
He will report to Pam Lifford, President, Global Brands and Experiences and Johanna Fuentes, Head of Global Communications, Warner Media Studios and Networks Group. He'll be based in Los Angeles.

Warner Bros. Names Josh Goldstine President of Worldwide Marketing

He is a great addition to the Pictures Group, and we can’t wait for him to get started.” He has a future-focused skill set that will help us strategically navigate our evolving business, launching both our theatrical films and HBO Max original movies. Said Emmerich, "Josh is an outstanding marketer, with an impressive track record of eventizing a broad range of movies to great success in both theaters and more recently on streaming platforms,” said Emmerich. “He loves cinema, is a believer in the continued importance of the theatrical experience, and is incredibly deft at understanding and distilling filmmaker’s visions and intentions into attention-grabbing and results-delivering marketing campaigns.
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Blair, along with JP Richards, former co-president of worldwide marketing, left in early November as the dynamics of the theatrical marketing job had changed, especially as the studio was poised to embrace a theatrical-HBO Max day-and-date strategy for Wonder Woman 1984 and its current 2021 slate.
During his years at Sony, Goldstine personally oversaw a number of creative campaigns for films including the Academy Award-winning The Social Network, the original Spider-Man franchise, Casino Royale, Da Vinci Code, Jerry Maguire, Groundhog Day, and eight movies with Will Smith, including Men In Black. Prior to Uni, Goldstine spent over two decades with Sony Pictures, where he held a variety of marketing positions, including President of Creative Advertising.
Most recently, Goldstine served as a marketing consultant working with a wide array of clients, including Activision/Blizzard, Legendary, Amazon and Sony Pictures, and provided insight and guidance on projects ranging from videogames (Candy Crush) to streaming releases (Borat’s Subsequent Movie Film, Enola) and feature films (Knives Out. the upcoming Godzilla v. Kong, Dune).
is set to name Josh Goldstine President of Worldwide Marketing, the former Universal exec taking over the post once occupied by Blair Rich. He'll officially join the Burbank, CA studio later this month. EXCLUSIVE: It what was greatly expected, Warner Bros. Warners is in the process of working on a deal with Goldstine, having just offered him the job.
In the wake of Rich's departure, Goldstine was already consulting on Warner Bros. Kong, which are also getting a simultaneous release on HBO Max. The Little Things and Judas and the Black Messiah and Legendary's Godzilla vs. theatrical titles, i.e.
Goldstine has received dozens of advertising honors, including numerous Clio Key Art awards and gold medals from the New York and London Advertising Festivals. He is a graduate of Harvard University.
Previously Goldstine was President of Worldwide Marketing for Universal. Goldstine helped propel Universal to an unprecedented run at the box office, resulting in four of the five most profitable years in the company’s history. 1 at the domestic box office, including Snow White and the Huntsman, Ted, The Bourne Legacy, Mama, Oblivion, Fast & Furious 6, The Purge, Ride Along, Neighbors, Dumb and Dumber To and the Academy Award-winning Les Misérables. During his time at Universal, 2011 to 2018, his team had more than 30 films reach No. Sources say that Warner Bros. He left in March 2018 and was accused of "inappropriate conduct" but was later cleared of those allegations and awarded a $20M arbitration. vetted Goldstine before his consulting gig and that he was cleared. 1 at the domestic box office. At Uni, Goldstine oversaw the campaigns for such movies as Jurassic World, the Despicable Me, Pitch Perfect and Fast & Furious franchises as well as Get Out, Split, Sing, Secret Life of Pets, Straight Outta Compton and Fifty Shades of Grey. Following the departure of former Warner Bros CEO Kevin Tsujihara and the storm he left under, Warners has been mindful and exercised great scrutiny in the executives they're hiring. In 2015, the studio broke numerous records: the then highest-grossing domestic, international and worldwide box office of any single year in any film studio’s history; the first time any studio had three films cross $1 billion at the worldwide box office with Furious 7, Jurassic World and Illumination’s Minions; and six films opened No.
Goldstine will be charged with overseeing the studio's global theatrical release slate including all Warner Bros, New Line, DC, Warner Animation group and HBO Max original features. His oversight will include Warner Bros. Goldstine will report to Toby Emmerich, Chairman, Warner Bros. Pictures Group, and work with the division's senior management team. Pictures’ worldwide creative advertising, publicity, media, global digital, global promotions, worldwide research and multi-cultural groups.

Warner Bros. Interactive Being Shopped, Titles Include ‘Harry Potter’ And ‘Game Of Thrones’ – Report

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Among the rumored suitors are Take-Two Interactive Software, Electronic Arts, and Activision Blizzard.
The deal could come in around the $4 billion mark and could have a licensing component that would still generate revenue from the intellectual property. AT&T is reportedly discussing a sale of its Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment gaming division, according to numerous reports.
AT&T acquired Time Warner for $109 billion in a 2018 deal and has about $165 billion in debt.
The new CEO enters with a mandate to divest properties and reduce debt. The company will have John Stankey as its new CEO as of July 1, replacing Randall Stephenson. Spokespeople at AT&T declined to comment.
Warner Bros. Reducing debt is the goal of any deal. Interactive titles are largely tied to Warner-owned intellectual property, including Harry Potter, Game of Thrones and The Lego Movie, but includes the Mortal Kombat and the Scribblenauts series.

Warner Bros. & Macro Catch Neil Paik’s Sci-Fi Short Story ‘Rainbowfish’

Paik will adapt his own short story for the screen. Rainbowfish, which was published on Six by Eight Press, takes place in a borderless future when the oceans have all but disappeared and the elusive Global Police enforces tyrannical laws. Their lives and that of a young water scavenger and a rebellious orphan collide in the most unexpected way.
King's MACRO, which has a first look deal with Warner Bros., has the untitled Fred Hampton movie at the studio. Martin Sheen, Lil Rel Howery and Jesse Plemons also star. Daniel Kaluuya stars as Hampton while LaKeith Stanfield plays O'Neal. That's being directed by Shaka King and follows Illinois Black Panther Party chairman Hampton and William O’Neal, the undercover FBI informant who helped bring him down. Bron Creative and Participant are co-financing the Fred Hampton project as Deadline first broke.
Paik is the director, writer and producer of such shorts as City of Sin, The Doctor of Bagram and The Lost, the latter which won the 2019 Artios Award  short film category for Matthew Lessall's casting. The Lost follows a highly publicized protest altercation that's recounted from differing points of view.
The studios won the IP in a competitive situation. and Charles D. King's MACRO. EXCLUSIVE: We hear that Neil Paik's sci-fi short story, Rainbowfish: A Scumbag's Guide to Stealing Water, Traversing Wormholes and Breaking Every Rule, is in development at Warner Bros.
Paik is repped by Grandview and WME.” />

Warner Bros, Plan B Acquire Upcoming Edward Ashton Sci-Fi Novel ‘Mickey7’

Plan B, the tastemaker producer behind Oscar winners Moonlight, 12 Years A Slave and The Big Short, and blockbusters like World War Z, recently moved to Warner Bros after a first look film deal with Annapurna went by the wayside.” />
UK rights to the book have been acquired by Solaris, and the U.S. When an expendable dies, a new body is regenerated with most of the memories intact. Novel was pitched around Hollywood as The Martian meets Children of Time. The title character is an "expendable," a person on missions who is sent on the most dangerous, even suicidal jobs. Essentially, Mickey7 is the seventh iteration of an expendable who is undergoing an existential identity crisis while trying to keep his successor's regeneration a secret and negotiating with the planet's native species on a dangerous trip to colonize a new ice world. rights are in play right now.
On the publishing side, Michael Rowley at Solaris acquired the book at auction. The movie deal was brokered by Hotchkiss Daily & Associates on behalf of Paul Lucas at Janklow & Nesbit.
Run by Brad Pitt, Dede Gardner and Jeremy Kleiner, Plan B will produce. EXCLUSIVE: In an early buy for recently arrived producer Plan B Entertainment, Warner Brothers has acquired Mickey7, a science fiction novel by Edward Ashton that will be published in 2021.

Warner Bros. Television Group Ups Jody Zucker To EVP Legal Affairs

Television Group veteran Jody Zucker is getting an expanded role at the Studio, with a promotion to Executive Vice President, Legal Affairs, from his previous role as SVP & General Counsel, Warner Bros. TV. EXCLUSIVE: Warner Bros.
Television’s industry leading success,” said Rogovin. “As every part of our business continues to evolve, thoughtful, visionary leaders like Jody are more valuable than ever. I’m glad that we’ll be able to tap more broadly into his experience and expertise across the entire Television Group in this expanded role.” “Throughout his almost two decades with the Studio, Jody has made a number of important contributions to Warner Bros.
Zucker will also continue to work closely with the legal teams in the Warner Bros.’ domestic and international television distribution units. He'll report to John Rogovin, Executive Vice President and General Counsel, Warner Bros. Animation, Warner Horizon Unscripted Television, Telepictures and Shed Media, as well as Alloy Publishing, Stage 13 and Blue Ribbon Content. Television, Warner Horizon Scripted Television, Warner Bros. Zucker now will oversee legal affairs across all of the Studio’s television production divisions, including Warner Bros.
Before Cap Cities/ABC, Zucker practiced law at leading firms in New York and Los Angeles, handling transactional, litigation and production-related matters.” /> He was previously at Capital Cities/ABC, Inc., for six years, serving as General Attorney, Litigation & Employment, for four years, and Senior Counsel, Business & Legal Affairs, for two. Prior to joining WBTV, Zucker spent three years as Vice President, Legal Affairs, Paramount Network Television.
He took on Deputy General Counsel responsibilities in 2003 and was promoted to Senior Vice President & Deputy General Counsel in 2005, followed by a promotion to SVP General Counsel in 2008. Zucker initially joined WBTV as Vice President, Legal Affairs, in 2000.

‘Joker’ Roars To Golden Lion In Venice & Smiles Towards Oscar Race

Ultimately, both Phillips and Phoenix returned to Venice tonight to accept the festival's top honor. Did anyone think Lucrecia Martel's jury was going to anoint it with the top honor Golden Lion? Todd Phillips' Joker already seemed poised for a win at the Venice Film Festival after its eight-minute standing ovation last week. Bravo! Word on the ground mostly surrounded star Joaquin Phoenix's turn as the tortured and titular Arthur Fleck.
So far, it has paid off. Warner Bros has had good luck out of Venice in past years, but world premiering a comic book movie here was a bold risk. Venice has increasingly become an awards season launchpad — three of the last five Best Picture Oscar winners began their career on the Lido.
There is no movie, he said, "without Joaquin."” /> Phoenix, who won a Volpi Cup Best Actor prize in 2012 for The Master, briefly stepped up on stage tonight with Phillips who thanked the "wild and eclectic group or jurors" and noted there were "so many directors on the panel." He also gave a nod to Warner Bros and DC for "getting out of their comfort zone and taking a big swing" on Joker.
She added that the rules here prevented giving Joker both the Golden Lion, and the acting prize. After the awards ceremony, jury member Mary Harron said, "They took a comic book mythology that has been done in so many ways and overturned it and revitalized it for now" with compassion. Harron was also very impressed with "the magnificent performance" of Phoenix.

Crazed Clown Still Cashing ‘It’ In As ‘Chapter Two’ Eyes Second-Best Horror Pic & September Opening With $100M+ – Midday Update

Um, it's a pretty simple, clever ploy: In the social media age, zag while others zig and light the online conversation on fire, rather than the typical means of just dropping a trailer and running a clock on global views (which are always boosted by ad buys — records are hardly organic). The fanboy universe is analyzing this what's-old-is-new marketing stunt as though Warners is re-inventing the wheel: Is this the new way we will see trailers? Golly gosh, in theaters?
By Friday, It's audience makeup was guys over 25 (31% turnout), followed by females under 25 (24%), males under 25 (23%), and females 25+ (23%).
It Chapter Two is seeing an opening day of $44M (including those $10.5M previews last night), which, again, makes it the second best opening day for both a horror film and September after It's $50.4M. Chapter Two also reps the fourth-best opening day for an R-rated movie behind Deadpool 2 ($53M), It and Deadpool ($47.3M).
season and still proves that people will come out for an event film in the post-Labor Day period. Even if this film falls apart and does $90M+, man, that is pretty awesome for the start of the fall B.O. Among R-rated film openings, It Chapter Two looks to be fourth behind Deadpool ($132.4M), Deadpool 2 ($125.5M) and 2017's It.
Yes, theatrical is still very alive at the box office, and it's not because It is a Disney film.
The teaser opens on the iconic It music/red balloons, and then cuts to Margot Robbie's Harley Quinn taking a swipe at the balloons and exclaiming "I'm so f*cking over clowns!", followed by a montage from the film showing Huntress (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), Black Canary (Jurnee Smollett-Bell), Renee Montoya (Rosie Perez) as well as Ewan McGregor’s bad guy Black Mask.
3rd Update Friday, Midday: New Line's It Chapter Two is headed for the second-best horror film and September opening of all time with an estimated $100M-$102M, behind the previous chapter's all-time $123.4M record in both categories.
Anything in that range makes It Chapter Two the second-best opening for September and a horror film behind the all-time record set by its predecessor two years ago ($123.4M). Some sources think a preview start like this has the potential to get It Chapter Two over $100M for its opening frame, but horror pics are always front-loaded, so it's too early to call. It's Thursday night repped 27% of its $50.4M opening day Friday (the best September day ever). Tracking had the pic between $90M-$100M, with Warner Bros spotting as low as $85M. Reviews are lower here for the sequel at 68% fresh, compared with the first installment's 86% certified fresh.
An extra bonus for anyone watching It Chapter Two this weekend is the 20-second Birds of Prey trailer that Warner Bros released in theaters only, similar to what they did for Christopher Nolan's Tenet on Hobbs & Shaw. The Suicide Squad spinoff opens on February 7.
Heads are spinning over the Birds of Prey stunt. If people aren't talking about the teaser now online, or posting reaction videos, then they're certainly heading out to watch It 2. Tenet, if you remember, trailered on the opening weekend of Hobbs & Shaw, which was the last big opener of the summer. Mission accomplished, Warner Bros. The studio aptly attached Birds of Prey to a film they knew everyone was going to see this weekend (they sure as heck weren't going to attach it to The Kitchen).
The Lion King's opening "Circle of Life" sequence for the 1994 film, which trailered only on Disney releases in theaters starting with the November 1993 release of Three Musketeers, remains a classic marketing case for in-theater trailers in the pre-Internet days, a catalyst that certainly drove crowds.” />
2nd Friday AM UPDATE, after Thursday night post, exits added: New Line Cinema's It Chapter Two is coming in at $10.5 million, right in the range where our sources saw it last night ($10M-$11M). That's the second-biggest preview for a horror movie and September release after, of course, 2017's It, which rang up $13.5M.
That's not that far from It, which notched an 85% overall positive with a strong definite recommend of 64%. Thursday night's exits on Screen Engine/Comscore's PostTrak have It Chapter Two at four stars and 80% with a 62% definite recommend. Females over 25 were dominant at 30% followed by females under 25 at 27%, males under 25 at 23% and males over 25 at 20%. It was an even split between under and over 25.
The difference here is that preview shows started earlier for the sequel last night at 5 PM, while the original movie began screenings at 7 PM. Also, It played at 3,500 theaters on its Thursday night, while Chapter Two is booked at 3,700-plus, rising to 4,570 theaters tomorrow (easily the widest September release ever, big-footing Warner Animation's Smallfoot which played at 4,131.

Justin Timberlake To Star In Fisher Stevens’ SK Global Drama Feature ‘Palmer’

Palmer, written by Cheryl Guerriero, follows a former college football phenomenon named Eddie Palmer (Timberlake) who, after a stint in prison, returns to his hometown to get his life back on track. There, he faces not only lingering conflicts from his past but also a much more surprising challenge as he finds himself suddenly in charge of a unique young boy who has been abandoned by his wayward mother.
and which grossed $238 million worldwide; the dramatic Hindi-language Netflix series Delhi Crime which has been renewed for a second season; and the critically acclaimed Oscar nominated western Hell or High Water starring Jeff Bridges and Chris Pine. SK Global’s past projects include the Golden Globe nominated international hit Crazy Rich Asians, released by Warner Bros.
Stevens is repped by CAA. Timberlake is repped by WME and LBI Entertainment. Guerriero is managed by Heroes and Villains Entertainment.” />
Penotti and Corwin stated, “Justin and Fisher bring a resonant perspective to this emotional story. It is both timely and ultimately a hopeful, entertaining story about the resilience and power of human kindness.”
Justin Timberlake is set to star in Fisher Stevens' upcoming drama feature Palmer for SK Global, which will begin production this fall.
Additionally, Timberlake has appeared in a number of features including the Coen Brother’s Inside Llewyn Davis,  Clint Eastwood’s Trouble with the Curve, and David Fincher's The Social Network. Timberlake recently wrapped production on the upcoming DreamWorks animated feature Trolls World Tour, a sequel to the breakout success Trolls which grossed over $346 worldwide and earned Timberlake a Best Original Song Oscar nomination for his chart-topping hit, “Can’t Stop the Feeling!”. Trolls World Tour opens on April 17, 2020.
He can next be seen in Wes Anderson’s The French Dispatch next year. on Nov. Stevens also directed the Leonardo DiCaprio produced documentary Before the Flood and the Emmy-nominated documentary Bright Lights: Starring Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds. Stevens is starring in HBO’s 5-time Emmy nominated series Succession. He won an Academy Award in 2010 for producing the groundbreaking documentary The Cove. Stevens is currently at TIFF with his doc And We Go Green which he co-directed with Malcolm Venville and follows Formula E circuit professional drivers with eco-friendly cars, who race for victory across ten cities. Stevens is also co-starring in Edward Norton's Motherless Brooklyn which is also playing TIFF and opening via Warner Bros. 1.
Sidney Kimmel and Daniel Nadler will also produce. Academy Award-winning producer Charles B. Wessler (Green Book) will produce alongside SK Global co-CEOs John Penotti and Charlie Corwin. SK Global and Nadler will co-finance the film, the script of which appeared on the 2016 Blacklist.

Summer 2019 B.O. Rings Up $4.8B+: After Being Slaughtered By Disney, Rival Studios Ponder ‘What’s Theatrical?’

June 7
Says Dergarabedian, "We don't always know how to properly define what a theatrical film is, but we know it when we see it."
But technically, its not branded IP, which made the film counter-programming, sandwiched between The Lion King and Hobbs & Shaw's release dates. So in regards to precise counter-programming this summer, huge praise goes to Sony Pictures Motion Group chairman Tom Rothman and the Culver City, CA lot team for landing Quentin Tarantino's Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt and Margot Robbie Once Upon a Time in Hollywood package. At a price pre-P&A that's close to $100M, some will say that Hollywood was bred to be a tentpole.
Perhaps, the answer to what is theatrical or not, isn't an aesthetic one. Rather, maybe the question is: Who's going to make my movie? And for those making it, at what cost does this film turn a profit?
summer 2018 vs. % chg.
the Lion King
And there are myriad reasons why these films didn't work, from tactical (bad release dates, marketing) to simply the built-in ailments of these movies, and the fact that they were never expected to be bigger then they were. If you were an unbranded film playing in the five weekend hurricane wake of Avengers: Endgame, you were as good as dead.
The film divides audiences in such a way (C+ CinemaScore) that only further underscores the reason why the pic deserves to be seen on the big screen, and not on a mobile: Midsommar is so fun to debate about, it deserves to be seen in a shared environment. That ultimately becomes a compromise between art and commerce for Aster, for somewhere in Midsommar, at a shorter length and possibly less severe tone, is a really hip mass-appealing horror film. Clearly, Aster got to make the movie he wanted to make, but in a cinematic marketplace that's evolving, one where the most lucrative type of counter-programming is auteur-driven, the director has the potential to be another Tarantino, Christopher Nolan, or Edgar Wright, one whose work crosses over to a wider audience.
"When looking at the theatricality potential for a non-branded/non-tentpole film, we consider the following qualities: is it original, is it a fresh concept, what is the cultural significance, does it have recognizable talent or filmmakers (although it doesn’t always necessarily have to), do the visuals and aesthetics lend themselves to the big screen? At the end of the day, the result can be magical when you marry a visionary filmmaker with a talented cast with an entertaining story that resonates with a broad audience," says Sony's domestic distribution boss Adrian Smith.
once Upon a Time in Hollywood
Even Marvel's Scarlett Johansson movie Black Widow doesn't look threatening: We've seen this movie before — it was called Lucy. But there's even more good news for rival studios next summer: Disney's slate isn't expected to be chock full of steroids like this past season, which many say was a big advertisement for its upcoming Disney+ streaming service. Just take a look at Disney's summer 2020 slate below: There's less franchise and more original fare on the calendar, which is always a trick.
$4.87B Est Est.
People left their homes and went to the movies this summer, shelling out what is expected to be $4.868 billion by Monday, +1% from the same period last year, which started at the end of April and lasted through Labor Day, and a few dollars shy of 2013's $4.872B all-time record, per Comscore.
And older IP that hasn't really been reinvigorated properly doesn't either: Compare the success of Warner Bros./Legendary's Detective Pikachu, reawakened by Ryan Reynold's weisenheimer voice at $431.6M WW, to that of the studios' tired Godzilla: King of the Monsters at $386M WW. Yes, of course, big branded IP, superhero projects, Disney characters work, duh.
The trick for studios remains making product that you can't watch at home off a streaming menu.
Some will argue the pic should have had a different release date, while others says the pic was never ever going to be Bohemian due to its pronounced homosexual themes, which prevented the pic from playing in the flyover states and certain offshore territories. In fact, it was better than the Tarantino film: Rocketman producer and subject Elton John performed his hit single "I'm Still Standing" on the Carlton Beach, the same place where he shot the music video 36 years prior, and even performed a duet of the pic's title song with star Taron Egerton. haunt The Troubadour. Paramount's Fellini-esque Elton John biopic Rocketman received a similar type of Hollywood tee-off at Cannes, with a world premiere after-party that rang out around the world. The pic had a solid $25.7M, but then stalled short of $100M at $96.3M with a $190.3M global take, 21% of Bohemian's entire global gross. Business looks better next year, with the long-awaited Tom Cruise sequel Top Gun: Maverick, The SpongeBob Movie, and the Mark Wahlberg-Antoine Fuqua-directed action pic Infinite. Paramount did everything right to love and launch this pic, showing footage off to the press in advance at John's old L.A. Before its opening, there was no question that Rocketman was going to leg out: It's a musical about a pop icon. Critics were on board at 89% certified fresh. The hope is that Paramount can resuscitate Rocketman for awards season voters. While being the second-best piece of counter-programming of the summer, one which finance sources say given the pic's $45M production cost, will ultimately break even, Rocketman wasn't as dazzling as some of the other musical pics we've seen in the marketplace of late. Plus the fact that John's story still isn't over. The most recent pic in the subgenre, Bohemian Rhapsody, which Rocketman director Dexter Fletcher literally saved, yielded a mind-boggling $904M at the global B.O. And it's an example of the strains that counter-programming faces. Without a Mission: Impossible on the summer schedule, and just Rocketman and the under-performing Crawl, Paramount was down 43% summer-to-summer.
This brings to mind A24's Ari Aster film Midsommar as an interesting study of summer counter-programming. Midsommar is psychedelic, visually jaw-dropping, absurdly funny, and flat-out gonzo in its execution. Talk about unique, here's a piercing tale about a young college girl who, after weathering a family tragedy, heads to a Swedish solstice celebration that turns sinister. It brings to mind Tarantino's Pulp Fiction, and even Nic Winding Refn's fare. Too often we think that you have to be universally loved at the box office, when, in fact, you can make a movie at the right price and make money off a passionate fan base. Asters straps in the audience for a 2 hour and 27 minutes journey (he has a director's cut of the film out this weekend at 2 hours and 50 minutes!). Distribution marketing departments have to make sure the right audience comes first, and when that happens, that crowd will serve the movie through the life of the film, rallying around it. of $26M, the film was less successful then the director's horror pic Hereditary ($44M) last summer, didn't play to a wide audience, yet was cheap enough at a net $10M (mostly covered by foreign sales) that it could ultimately break even. With a domestic B.O.
As Netflix gets ready to launch a premium awards season lineup that includes Martin Scorsese's near-$200M The Irishman, Eddie Murphy's Dolemite Is My Name, and Steven Soderbergh's The Laundromat, studios executives left for Labor Day weekend wondering: Just what is theatrical nowadays?
Aug. 2
Avengers: Endgame
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is a movie with a capital M. When you look at something like The Mandalorian or Game of Thrones, they're cinematic, but not theatrical, due to their long-form, and thus are not tailored nor practical for a theatrical release. Some of it is context, some of it boils down to content and scope," says Comscore Senior Media Analyst Paul Dergarabedian. Obviously, the Marvel movies are inherently cinematic and theatrical. "The very notion of theatrical is more a state-of-mind or a vibe that exudes from certain movies that have that intangible 'it' factor.
May 10
April 26
(4/26-9/2) b.o.
hobbs & Shaw
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True, close to 50% of this summer's ticket sales came from Disney branded IP ($2.2B), and 18% from their Marvel's Avengers: Endgame (which opened on April 26), leaving a slew of lower-to-mid-sized budgeted films gasping.
May 24
July 2
John Wick Chapter 3
"You can counter-program another film that's opening to a $60M-$70M opening. You can't counter-program a movie that opens to north of $200M," observes one studio distribution sage.
June 21
If you're a rival studio and you want your counter-programming to survive in Disney's monsoon of Pixar, Marvel, and Lucasfilm, then a film has to possess a razor-sharp high concept with the right elements that can fuel a passionate zeitgeist, who ultimately believes the experience is truly worth their time away from home.
Warner Bros.
Toy Story 4
July 19
The numbers speak for themselves: non-tentpole adult movies aren't dead, evident in the last few weekends at the B.O., with such pics as Good Boys, Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, and Angel Has Fallen posting $20M-plus debuts, with more to come in September with anticipated openings like STX's Jennifer Lopez-Constance Wu stripper crime pic Hustlers, a pic which is exciting female audiences as it shows a group of women pinning it to 'The Man.'
Pokemon Detective Pikachu
Summer 2019 B.O.
Alfonso Cuaron's Roma was certainly cinematic. Earlier this summer, Universal didn't give the greenlight to the Dwayne Johnson-Gal Gadot-Ryan Reynold $130M action heist thriller Red Notice. I'm often told that it's the agents and the players behind movies nowadays that make them theatrical or not; it has nothing to do with quality. No doubt, Martin Scorsese's The Irishman will be. It just so happens that a streamer, Netflix, financially got behind both pics and has a different philosophy when it comes to the global distribution of those pics (largely digital). It's just that Netflix ponied up the cash to make it under their subscription revenue, largely non-ancillary model. God knows, at that cost, it's very theatrical. Word was that the producers of I, Tonya, when they sold it out of TIFF two years ago, wanted a big-screen buyer, not a streamer, with NEON buying the pic for $5M (the movie went on to win an Oscar off three noms and gross $30M stateside). From a theatrical standpoint, yes, money is being left on the table.
Rocketman, Crawl) or were flat out casualties (Long Shot, Brightburn, Late Night, Shaft the list goes on…). However prior to Once Upon a Time in Hollywood at the end of July, there was a countless amount of counter-programming that either didn't cross over to bigger numbers (i.e.
Studios must also be able to communicate that effectively through the crowded marketing landscape. "It must be a story that captures the imagination, ideally something the audience has not seen before, or is so large in spectacle it requires theatrical viewing. Here, we think whether it’s original titles like Us and Yesterday, or the further exploitation of our phenomenal franchises Hobbs & Shaw, our diverse slate, and our aggressive marketing keep folks embracing the theatrical experience," says Universal Domestic Distribution Chief Jim Orr in response to what is considered theatrical nowadays.
Spider-Man: Far From Home
But the studio is smart enough not to give up its golden goose, and to protect its portion of the extended Marvel universe in a long B.O. Sony is the No. Sony is fully aware of this, and typically makes such fare at a cost (it was called Baby Driver two summers ago, which grossed $39M 7-day opening, $106M domestic). When it comes to competing against Disney, that's one formula. era where crime fighters in tights have reigned. 2 studio of the summer behind Disney. Audience and critic-pleasing auteur + big stars + very original concept + event-like blast-off at the Cannes Film Festival = one the summer's top grossing pics stateside ($130.9M) off a very good $41M opening. There is a demand for non-superhero fare and diverse range of product at the multiplex. Many will debate that Sony minus Disney/Marvel on future Spider-Mans makes all the difference. Led by Spider-Man: Far From Home, Sony saw a 76% surge summer over summer with $705.4M, in a summer where Uni, Warner Bros, Paramount and Fox posted double digit declines.
July 26
"Everyone is stepping up their game," says one financier about how rival development departments are taking their time to nurture product. Now more than ever, studio development executives are grappling with the extra stress to raise the bar on unique product.
May 17
Secret Life of Pets 2

Ann Sarnoff Marks Debut As Warner Bros. CEO With Call For Innovation, Acknowledgement Of Change Reshaping Studio, Industry

With our talent, expertise and unmatched IP, we’re in a great position to capitalize on them. This is an exciting—and challenging—time in the entertainment industry, and we need to keep looking at new business models, new competitors, new content platforms and formats—and finding new opportunities. I’ve had the chance to meet with the senior management team, and I’m excited to help build on the company’s legacy of creativity and innovation.
Here is the full memo:
Warner Bros. Today is my first day at Warner Bros., and I wanted to let you know how proud I am to be joining the company and all of you. has been the gold standard in entertainment for almost 100 years, and with the efforts of our global team, I believe we can continue that streak for another 100.
Finally, I want to thank Toby Emmerich, Peter Roth and Kim Williams for stepping in and serving as the interim CEO team. They’ve done a masterful job, and I will continue to rely on them in the days ahead.
I’ve been looking forward to saying that for two months…
In the meantime, I’m going to roll up my sleeves and get busy. Quoting Humphrey Bogart in “Casablanca”— “I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.”
I hope to see you all on the 4th.
Ann Sarnoff marked her first day as Warner Bros. CEO with a memo to employees calling for innovation but taking note of significant changes at WarnerMedia and elsewhere.
In a memo to employees Thursday, Sarnoff didn't avoid Topic A at the company, which is the dramatic scope and speed of change that has been reshaped it since AT&T bought Time Warner and renamed it WarnerMedia. The CEO job also opened up due to sensitive circumstances when Kevin Tsujihara stepped down after acknowledging improper dealings with actress Charlotte Kirk.
Dear Colleagues:
Sarnoff urged employees to attend a September 4 town hall, promising more details would be relayed soon.
The former Viacom and BBC executive surprised most Hollywood handicappers in winning the job, but her many backers extol her calm and determined style.
Best regards,
Ann” />
Warner Bros. Television is whether they will be able to continue to play the field and maximize profits from shows or whether they will increasingly tailor their efforts to suit the emerging streaming operations. The No. has kept its film operations running fairly smoothly in 2019 (despite some recent disappointments) but it is now contending with a Fox-fortified Disney at the box office. 1 strategic question facing top suppliers like Warner Bros. In television, it faces a complete reshaping of the landscape as media companies (including WarnerMedia) mount massive streaming efforts in a bid to close the gap with Netflix.
"This is an exciting—and challenging—time in the entertainment industry, and we need to keep looking at new business models, new competitors, new content platforms and formats—and finding new opportunities," Sarnoff wrote. "With our talent, expertise and unmatched IP, we’re in a great position to capitalize on them."
"Despite the many changes that have occurred across the industry and here at the company, your focus and commitment to excellence have kept us on track to realize our ambitious goals," Sarnoff wrote. She gave shoutouts to Toby Emmerich, Peter Roth and Kim Williams for serving as an interim CEO trio in the period between Tsujihara's exit and her arrival.
You’ll be receiving more information on that later today. I look forward to hearing from you and to sharing a little more of my story. As a first step, I’ll be hosting a Town Hall on Wednesday, September 4.
Every interaction I’ve had has confirmed my belief that a company’s people make the culture, and Warner Bros.’ culture of respect, integrity, creativity and inclusion is a direct result of the passion in each of you. I cannot thank you enough for your ongoing contributions to Warner Bros.’ success. I’d like to acknowledge that despite the many changes that have occurred across the industry and here at the company, your focus and commitment to excellence have kept us on track to realize our ambitious goals.

‘Love Me’ Drama Based On Swedish Format From ‘Life Sentence’ Creators & Elizabeth Banks Set At ABC As Put Pilot

Written by Cardillo and Keith, Love Me follows the stories of a multi-generational family in Chicago as they search for love in our increasingly detached digital world, and explores how their unconditional love for one another helps them navigate the highs and lows of it all.
15) for Sony Pictures. Banks and Handelman are repped by UTA, Untitled, Ziffren Brittenham. Brownstone also is producing the Hulu comedy series Shrill as well as an adult animated series reboot of The Flintstones in works at Warner Bros. Banks is currently directing, producing, co-writing and starring as Bosley in her continuation of Charlie’s Angels (Nov. Animation.
The duo have sold four other broadcast projects with the studio over the past five years, two of which went to series, Significant Mother (2015) and Life Sentence (2018), both on The CW. Cardillo and Keith also worked together as co-eps on the second season of Netflix/WBTV’s Fuller House. Love Me is Cardillo and Keith's first sale under a multi-year overall deal they have at WBTV.
d” />
They won the New York Television Festival in 2013 with spec script We’re Not Your Parents. Cardillo and Keith have been collaborating since the mid-2000s when they met in acting class at Warner Loughlin Studios. Keith is repped by Lichter Grossman. Cardillo is repped by Velocity Entertainment Partners, Bloom Hergott.
Bornebusch, who stars in, writes and directs the Swedish series, also executive produces. Brownstone's Dannah Shinder is co-executive producer. Cardillo and Keith executive produce for In Good Company, with Brownstone's Banks and Handelman.

EXCLUSIVE: In a competitive situation, ABC has landed Love Me, a one-hour drama based on a Swedish format, with a put pilot commitment. TV, where Brownstone and Cardillo and Keith's In Good Company are based. The project, one of the first significant pitch sales this broadcast development cycle, hails from Life Sentence creators Erin Cardillo and Richard Keith, Elizabeth Banks and Max Handelman's Brownstone Productions, Welcome To Sweden co-creator/star Josephine Bornebusch and Warner Bros.
Swedish actress-writer Bornebusch is repped by Paradigm and Agentfirman Planthaber/Kilden/Mandic.
Finding a big family soap is among the ABC's targets this development season.
The six-part comedy-drama series, from Nordic Entertainment Group, is set to air this fall across the Nordic region on NENT Group's streaming service Viaplay. You can watch a teaser with no English subtitles below. The Swedish series — original title Älska Mig — starring Bornebusch and Sverrir Gudnason, examines how friendship, grief and romance intersect with love in the lives of three generations of people living in the Swedish capital Stockholm.

Jared Leto In Talks To Play Serial Killer In ‘Little Things’ With Denzel Washington, Rami Malek

Mark Johnson is producing and the film is looking to begin production next month.
John Lee Hancock is directing his script. Jared Leto is in talks to join the cast of Warner Bros' Little Things, a cop thriller starring fellow Oscar winners Denzel Washington and Rami Malek, Deadline has confirmed.
Deke’s nose for the “little things” (hence the title of the movie) proves eerily accurate, but his willingness to circumvent the rules embroils Baxter in a soul-shattering dilemma. All the while, Deke wrestles with a dark secret from his past. Washington is playing Deke, a burned-out Kern County sheriff who teams with an LA County Sheriff’s Department detective, Baxter (Malek), to reel in a wily serial killer, the role Leto is circling.
Variety first broke the Leto news Thursday.” />

‘Lucifer’ Final Season Gets Six More Hours Ordered By Netflix, Bringing Total To 16 Episodes

https://twitter.com/seewhatsnext/status/1154738140982046720″ />
Modrovich said discussions about ending the series after its fifth and final season came after discussion with Netflix and Warner Bros. "And while we feel just as sad as many of you do that, this marvelous ride is coming to an end, a fight won't change things right now."
Lucifer is produced by WBTV in association with Jerry Bruckheimer Television. The series is executive-produced by Jerry Bruckheimer, Jonathan Littman, Joe Henderson, Ildy Modrovich, Sheri Elwood and KristieAnne Reed.
At 77 episodes through five seasons, Lucifer would be one of the longest-running Netflix original series. The episode count is between veterans Orange Is the New Black (91) and House Of Cards (73).
TV shopped the series to steaming services and premium cable networks. Buoyed by strong fan support, which made Lucifer the No.1 trending topic worldwide on the day of its May 2018 cancellation, series producer Warner Bros.
Netflix has decided to give the Devil his due, and has expanded the final Season 5 episode order, adding six more hours, bringing the total to 16 episodes.
In a Twitter post, Modrovich tried to head off efforts by fans who were already contemplating lobbying for a sixth season of the show. Netflix picked up a fourth and fifth season of the comic book drama after it was canceled by Fox after three seasons, in part because of the huge outpouring of support from fans of the series.
Last month, Lucifer executive producer Ildy Modrovich tried to gently break the news to fans that their beloved TV show is entering its final season.
The move to add additional episodes may have come from impassioned fan support, the same base that got the former Fox show moved to Netflix. The addition was announced on the official NetflixUS Twitter account on Friday.
Lucifer is based on the comic book characters created by Neil Gaiman for DC’s Vertigo Imprint, Sam Kieth and Mike Dringenberg for Vertigo, stars Tom Ellis, Lauren German, Rachael Harris, DB Woodside, Lesley-Ann Brandt, Aimee Garcia, Tricia Helfer, Scarlett Estevez and Kevin Alejandro.
The series follows the charming, charismatic and devilishly handsome Lord of Hell, Lucifer Morningstar (Ellis), helping LAPD detective Chloe Decker (German) take down criminals.

‘American Gods’ Producer Fremantle Bolsters U.S. Non-Scripted Pipeline With Hire Of Ex-Red Arrow Exec Harry Gamsu

Prior to joining Fremantle, Gamsu held the position of VP of Non-Scripted at Red Arrow Studios International and was formerly at Warner Bros. International Television Production.
Fremantle has hired former Red Arrow and Warner Bros exec Harry Gamsu as it looks to bolster its non-scripted distribution activities in LA.
Elsewhere, it has hired Céire Clark as Senior Acquisitions Manager. Based in London, the former All3Media International exec will will work with Fremantle’s own creatives and develop further relationships with key independent producers.
I’m genuinely thrilled that we have this exciting new senior team in place to further that strategy.  With Harry and Céire on the bench, working with such brilliant producers, we know we bring something genuinely new and refreshing to the market.”” /> Angela Neillis, Senior Vice President, Non-Scripted Content, International said, “We’ve spent a lot of time developing our non-scripted pipeline and have been working with a number of really special producers to do that.
Working with a mix of third party and Fremantle’s in-house producers, Gamsu will explore and negotiate rights for distribution opportunities. based content acquisitions team and will be responsible for sourcing new content from across the US and Canada for development and international distribution. He will manage the U.S. The American Gods producer has named Gamsu Vice President of Non-Scripted Content Acquisitions, based in LA.
Joining the Non-Scripted content team is the new Vice President of Non-Scripted Content Acquisitions, Harry Gamsu, and Senior Acquisitions Manager, Céire Clark. Fremantle today announced two new hires within its International distribution team. Both positions will report to Angela Neillis, Senior Vice President of Non-Scripted Content for Fremantle’s distribution business.

‘The Flash’ Revving Up? Warner Bros In Talks With ‘It’ Director Andy Muschietti

He is as inspired a choice as was James Wan for Aquaman and Reeves for Batman.” /> It's all about how you finish the race and despite the litany of false starts, if Muschietti makes a deal and hangs around long enough to start production, The Flash should be another movie that will continue DC's forward momentum.
DC has seen an upswing in its fortunes with Wonder Woman and Aquaman, with excitement over the prospect of a new Batman trilogy directed by Matt Reeves and starring Twilight Saga's Robert Pattinson.
Famuyiwa also exited. This after Seth Grahame Smith got the job before exiting. The character, a blindingly fast hero, has been the antithesis of the progress of a movie that has led a separate life from its TV series. It was three years ago this month that Warner Bros signed Rick Famuyiwa, hot off the indie comedy Dope, and introduced him to Comic-Con fans as the director who would bring the Flash to the big screen in a solo adventure. After years of false starts, Warner Bros might have finally figured it out with The Flash, with Andy Muschietti, the director of the Stephen King adaptation It and its upcoming creepy sequel.
Studio sources insist no offer yet, but this makes too much sense to not happen.
They wrote the most recent drafts. Phil Lord and Chris Miller stepped in and out, and the most recent team to exit was Spider-Man: Homecoming scribes John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein. It has taken so long for the DC Universe to figure this out, that the character appeared in Justice League, and the actor who played him, Ezra Miller, write a script of his own. Now, Christina Hodson (DC's upcoming Birds of Prey) will take a crack at a new draft.

James Wan Stumped By ‘Swamp Thing’ Demise: “Don’t Really Know Or Understand Why”

Wan and his production company, Atomic Monster, have a full plate even without Swamp Thing thanks to the Aquaman and Conjuring franchises as well as a Mortal Kombat adaptation, all at Warner Bros.
Really proud of everyone’s hard work. "Don’t really know or understand why #Swampthing was cancelled," he wrote, "but I can tell you this — all the cast and crew, and producing/writing team poured their hearts into this. Swampy deserves it." Go watch episode 2, and immortalize these 10 episodes.
James Wan, the executive producer of Swamp Thing, the DC Universe series that was abruptly canceled last week after one episode had streamed, shared his baffled reaction to the axing in a post on Instagram.
A second season of the show will not be picked up, sources confirmed last Thursday. Television, it was the third original series to launch on DC Universe, which went live only last October. Co-produced by Warner Bros. Streaming strategy across the AT&T-owned media company is being reappraised in light of WarnerMedia's ambitious plans for a comprehensive streaming service. That yet-to-be-named offering will come out in beta form by the end of the year and management is targeting 70 million subscribers by 2024.
Its eight remaining episodes will continue to air as scheduled, with a new one debuting on DC Universe each Friday through August 2. The episode order for Swamp Thing was reduced from 13 to 10 episodes in April, seldom a positive sign.
 ” />
Here is Wan's Instagram post:

The CW Sets ‘Two Sentence Horror Stories’ Anthology Series For Summer Run

Inspired by the viral fan fiction of two-sentence horror stories, the anthology series taps into universal primal fears, filtered through the anxieties of the most connected and racially diverse generation. Two Sentence Horror Stories features contemporary tales of horror and haunting for the diverse and digital age. Despite dizzying advancements in technology, inequality, social progress and environmental degradation…the things that haunt us are still the same.
Two Sentence Horror Stories joins two new scripted series slated to debut on the CW this summer, British action drama Bulletproof, starring Noel Clarke and Ashley Walters, and space-based action-adventure Pandora, headined by Priscilla Quintana.
Here are Two Sentence Horror Stories' cast, directors and writers by episode:
Pornsak Pichetshote (Legacy)
McMullen (Gentleman, Tutorial) C.S.
Nicole Kang (Batwoman) as Hana (Gentleman)
Kate Jennings (Notorious) as Dr. Lucie (Scion)
Aleyse Shannon (Charmed) as Karine (Tutorial)
Rania Attieh & Daniel Garcia (Hide)
Set to debut on August 8 at 8 PM with back-to-back episodes, Two Sentence Horror Stories consists of eight half-hour stand-alone episodes featuring actors Nicole Kang (Batwoman), Jim Parrack (Suicide Squad) and Aleyse Shannon (Charmed), among others.
Greta Quispe (New Amsterdam) as Araceli (Hide)
Stephanie Adams-Santos (Hide)
Miao executive produces with Emily Wiedemann (Creative Control) and Chazz Carfora (Stories From The Felt) for Stage 13 in association with Warner Bros.
Jim Parrack (The Deuce) as Ken (Gentleman)
Leon Hendrix III (Hide, Only Child)
Created/executive produced by Vera Miao (Best Friends Forever), Two Sentence Horror Stories, from Warner Bros' digital content studio Stage 13, originated as the five-episode short-form digital series 2SH, which premiered on go90 in October 2017. The short-form series then launched on CW Seed in October 2018. Following the exposure on its digital platform, the CW became interested in a full-length version to air on the broadcast network.
Tayarisha Poe (Little Monsters, Tutorial)
It marks the 12th original CW series for summer 2019, the most ever for the 13-year-old network, which has been ramping up its commitment to year-round programming. EXCLUSIVE: The CW is adding another original scripted series to its summer lineup, anthology Two Sentence Horror Stories.
Vera Miao (Legacy, Squirm)
Natalia Iyudin (Gentleman, Scion)
Nikyatu (Only Child)” />
Vera Miao (Little Monsters, Squirm)
Sehaj Sethi (Hide, Scion)
Wai Ching Ho (The Defenders) as Ma (Legacy)

WarnerMedia Streaming Service Will Draw “Tens Of Millions” Of Subscribers Thanks To Pay-TV Tie, AT&T Chief Randall Stephenson Predicts

The head of WarnerMedia's parent company offered his streaming outlook during an appearance at J.P. He didn't attach any time horizon to the time to reach tens of millions, and thus far the company has kept details about timing and strategy close to the vest. HBO Now has been available for four years at $15 a month, and will be the bedrock of the forthcoming WarnerMedia service. Disney, pursuing a pure subscription model, has projected signing up 60 to 90 million subscribers around the world by 2024, though its price point for Disney+ is just $7 a month. Morgan's Global Technology, Media and Communications Conference in Boston.
Comcast, whose NBCUniversal is preparing a major ad-supported streaming launch in 2020, and to this point WarnerMedia/AT&T, have described more of a case-by-case evaluation of licensing shows out versus holding back for their own purposes.” /> Disney has begun taking films and TV shows off Netflix and warning investors of the hundreds of millions of dollars the decision will cost. The rights dilemma is a central topic in the industry as media companies come to terms with the model they established, perhaps inadvertently, in recent years by giving rights to Netflix and other streaming services in exchange for hefty license fees.
WarnerMedia's forthcoming streaming service will rack up "tens of millions" of subscribers due to its strong library and partnerships with pay-TV providers, who will offer it free to HBO subscribers, AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson predicted.
(Such distribution relationships are woven into HBO's DNA, as the premium network for decades has been sustained by partnerships with cable and satellite operators.) In the conference session, he elaborated on the strategy, explaining that pay-TV providers will not be competition as the service rolls out, but rather closer to business partners. In previous remarks, Stephenson has explained that the streaming service, which will launch in beta in the fourth quarter of 2019 and in a full version in early 2020, will employ a "two-sided model" blending subscription and advertising.
Stephenson described the streaming service as the company's "key video product," being counted on to drive considerable revenue. In order to drive customer acquisition, the company is prepared to bring "a lot of these rights back to ourselves" to Warner Bros. shows like Big Bang Theory and Friends.
And then we want to cont to push digital distribution on top of that as well." "Comcast is going to be an important partner," Stephenson said, using the No. 1 cable provider by way of example. "If you're a Comcast subscriber and you acquire HBO, you will get this capability with your HBO subscription on Comcast.

‘Roswell, New Mexico’: Amber Midthunder Upped To Series Regular for Season 2 Of CW Drama Series

The series centers on Roswell native Liz Ortecho (Mason) who reluctantly returns to her tourist-trap hometown to move back in with her father after the government cuts funding on her biomedical research. When Liz arrives, she reconnects with her teenage crush Max Evans (Nathan Dean Parsons), who now is a Roswell police officer. Their chemistry is instantly electric, but Liz soon discovers a shocking truth: Max is an alien who has kept his unearthly abilities hidden his entire life, along with those of his otherworldly sister, Isobel (Lily Cowles), and their friend Michael (Michael Vlamis).
She's repped by Corner Booth Entertainment, Artists & Representatives and Jackoway Austen Tyerman.” /> Midthunder also plays Kerry Loudermilk on FX's Legion.
Amber Midthunder, who recurred in the first season of the rebooted CW's Roswell, New Mexico, has been promoted to series regular for the just-announced second season.
Roswell, New Mexico hails from from Warner Bros. Television and CBS Television Studios, in association with Amblin Television and Bender Brown Productions, with executive producers Carina Adly MacKenzie, Chris Hollier, Julie Plec, Darryl Frank and Justin Falvey, Lawrence Bender and Kevin Kelly Brown.
TV. Written by The Originals scribe Carina Adly MacKenzie and directed by Julie Plec, the reimagined Roswell, like the original, is based on the Roswell High book series by Melinda Metz. It hails from Amblin TV, Bender Brown Prods and Warner Bros.
Midthunder appeared in seven Season 1 episodes as Rosa Ortecho, the sister of Liz (Jeanine Mason).

‘God Friended Me’: Robby Hull Upped To EP & Co-Showrunner For Season 2 Of CBS Series

TV and Berlanti Prods, drew solid ratings throughout its first season in its Sunday night slot, especially in total viewers where the drama averaged more than 10 million viewers and improved its time period 8% over last season. The series, from Warner Bros. Violett Beane, Suraj Sharma, Javicia Leslie and Joe Morton co-star. Lilien and Wynbrandt executive produce with Greg Berlanti, Sarah Schechter, and Marcos Siega, who directed the pilot.
A graduate of the Warner Bros. Hull got his start producing the indie feature Nether World, and writing and producing documentary The Other Hollywood for IFC. Television Workshop, Hull is repped by UTA and Felker Toczek.” />
EXCLUSIVE: Veteran writer-producer Robby Hull, who served as co-executive producer on the first season of CBS’ drama series God Friended Me, has been promoted to executive producer and co-showrunner for season 2. Hull will serve as co-showrunner alongside God Friended Me creators/executive producers Steven Lilien and Bryan Wynbrandt. The series, which already has been renewed for a second season, aired its Season 1 finale on Sunday.
“Steven and I have been collaborating with Robby since he worked with us on our first series, Alcatraz,” said Lilien and Wynbrandt.“He is an integral part of our show, and we are thrilled to elevate him to co-showrunner.”
Prior to his work on God Friended Me, Hull served as a co-executive producer on the Fox/WBTV series Gotham. His series credits also include ABC's Once Upon a Time, Fox's Alcatraz and Gossip Girl and Veronica Mars for The CW.
Starring Brandon Micheal Hall, God Friended Me is a humor-tinged uplifting drama about Miles Finer (Hall), an outspoken atheist whose life is turned upside down when he receives a friend request on social media from “God” and unwittingly becomes an agent of change in the lives and destinies of others around him.

Jon Watts In Early Talks To Direct Michael B. Jordan In ‘Methusaleh’ At Warner Bros

Jordan and re-develop Methusaleh as a star vehicle for the Creed II and Black Panther to play a man who has managed to stay alive for over 400 years. Jordan’s Outlier Society has joined as producers Heyday’s David Heyman and Jeffrey Clifford. EXCLUSIVE: Warner Bros is in early negotiations with Spider-Man director Jon Watts to team with Michael B.
The plan is for them to put a writer in place to rewrite the film. Most recent draft was by Tony Gilroy. Watts is coming off directing Spider Man: Homecoming, with the sequel Spider-Man: Far From Home coming from Sony on July 5. Homecoming grossed $880 million worldwide, and expectations on the sequel are high.
The character has managed to survive for hundreds of years, without showing the physical signs of age. Methusaleh has been a priority at Warner Bros for years, since the studio had Tom Cruise interested in playing the protagonist, with a Highlander-like mythology and a lot of franchise potential. In that time, he has accumulated vast intellectual knowledge, from multiple languages to the sciences, as well as survival skills.
Watts is repped by CAA Jordan is repped by WME and attorney Gregory Slewett.” />
Jordan attached himself last month. Since signing a deal at Warner Bros, the studio acquired for Outlier Society to produce the Marlon James fantasy epic novel Black Leopard, Red Wolf.

Criterion Channel Gives Classic Films New Streaming Life After FilmStruck Demise

BECKER: We are bringing a lot to the table in terms of our partnerships. At the base of our whole life story is that we serve at the pleasure of our studio partners. … Janus is mostly looking at films that are 20 years old or older but Criterion has had the capability to present contemporary films and we will continue to do that.
We’e highly motivated to build something that is sustainable. BECKER: There’s already a lot of energy swirling around us. We have films that you ct see anywhere else and much bigger range of film directions.
DEADLINE: On behalf of cinephiles everywhere, welcome back. And just to clarify, some Criterion titles are available through Kanopy, the streaming service supported through public library systems, correct?
DEADLINE: Did WarnerMedia decide to throw in the towel because they intend to use Warner Bros. titles in their own streaming service?
DEADLINE: Do you feel like Criterion Channel is built to last longer than the two years that FilmStruck made it?
No matter how successful we were, we weren't going to move the needle as much as they needed it to move. But they did give pretty clear reasons. BECKER: I’m not going to characterize what their intentions are. [Ultimately] a service like ours is still going to be a tiny fraction of Netflix, Hulu, WarnerMedia.
BECKER: Yes, about 1,000 Janus films will be continuously available for the first time since FilmStrcuk shut down at the end of November. The Seventh Seal, Seven Samurai, Beauty and the Beast and so many others, for the first time they had been unavailable for a stretch in streaming.
The writing had been on the wall. Other services at WarnerMedia got shut down as well. We were watching this all happen and my daughter actually told me. We really had nothing to do with it. It was really kind of astonishing. BECKER: The shutdown of FilmStruck I won't say took us by surprise. We knew that we didn’t have much choice. She said, 'Dad, have you seen this petition?' It was extremely heartening. This incredible welling up of support. There were something like 400 million Twitter mentions of the word “FilmStruck” in the first 24 hours. In all of these large, asymmetrical part we recognize that we have to be flexible and nimble and go with the flow. We had made some last entreaties. When they announced it in October, that’s when all of the responses started to come in.
Keep our relationships. There was this joint announcement. And it did work. This was a win for everybody. It means more choice for consumers. There was definitely a PR problem but I don’t think from the beginning there was a business problem. Our library, when they launch their mega-service, will be at their disposal. We’re happy for that. Then we all climbed off into our rowboat and went to launch our streaming service.” /> For my purposes, the big win was that we were given permission. What it did do was it opened up the conversation a lit bit to, 'This particular thing is not in our plans.' From there we were able to get permission that people had said they really wanted. We did need Warner’s support to do this. Both companies felt that it was important for people to understand that it wasn’t just Criterion going off on its own but that it was Warner making this possible. BECKER: There was a hope that it might work.
BECKER: This is the first time we haven’t had a pretty big heavyweight partner [after previous partnerships with Hulu and WarnerMedia]. It’s time. Not just what to watch but why, how it fits in, seeing film culture as a wider conversation. What became clear at the the end of FilmStuck is that there is an audience that passionately cares.
DEADLINE: But the rest of your library is only available on the new service?
PETER BECKER: Yes, about 50 classic films from the Janus Films library are on Kanopy. We consider those building blocks of cinema culture and consciousness. We thought, 'They should be in the public library so we should make that work.'"
In a strikingly quick turnaround by the standards of subscription streaming, the Criterion Channel officially launched today, less than six months after the demise of the late, lamented FilmStruck.
DEADLINE: And are you continuing to be sort of a film-industry Switzerland, working with a range of studio partners?
DEADLINE: Now that you are charting your own course, how does it feel to have done this independently?
WarnerMedia has been reassessing its overall streaming portfolio under AT&T's ownership and preparing a major subscription service for launch later this year. The service costs $10.99 per month or $99.99 a year and can be accessed through web browsers as well as apps designed for Apple TV, Amazon Fire, Roku, iOS, and Android and Android TV devices. Deadline spoke with Criterion Collection president Peter Becker about the relaunch, but before we get to the conversation, here is a brief recap. In that context, it decided last fall to unplug FilmStruck. The collaboration between Turner Classic Movies and Criterion was a niche service, but among its most ardent fans were numerous A-list filmmakers and other Hollywood notables, who voiced their frustration in open letters. Amid the outcry, Criterion and WarnerMedia negotiated new deals for films and other programming on FilmStuck to be made available through the new Criterion Channel.
In our conversation, Becker revisited the events of last fall and offered a tour of the new service and how it fits into the larger streaming landscape. The following are edited excerpts.
DEADLINE: What did you think about the reaction to FilmStruck going dark?
How is it to still be in business with them? DEADLINE: Some of your titles will continue to be licensed from Warner Bros., right?

‘Space Jam 2’: Sonequa Martin-Green In Talks To Join LeBron James-Led Sequel

Martin-Green also starred in the AMC's hit series, The Walking Dead. Production will start next year during the NBA offseason. Star Trek: Discovery star Sonequa Martin-Green is in talks to join the roaster of Warner Bros' Space Jam 2, which will star NBA All-Star LeBron James. Word is Martin-Green in talks to play James' wife in the film. Variety was first to report her casting news.” /> Terence Nance, the creator of the HBO series, Random Acts of Flyness, is directing the long-gestating sequel with Ryan Coogler attached to produce.

Former Warner Bros CEO Kevin Tsujihara To Be Removed From Anita Hill Commission On Eliminating Sex Harassment

Tsujihara’s departure from the commission, which will be announced shortly, is expected to be accompanied by a statement similar to the one the Commission issued in September after Moonves was shown the door.
EXCLUSIVE: Kevin Tsujihara, who resigned as chairman and CEO of Warner Bros last week, soon will become the second top industry executive to be removed from the Anita Hill-led Commission on Eliminating Sexual Harassment because of sexual misconduct allegations.
WB and CBS won’t have a representative on the Commission until permanent CEOs are named to replace Tsujihara and Moonves. In August, former CBS CEO Les Moonves was removed as a commissioner after numerous sexual harassment allegations were leveled against him. Like Tsujihara, Moonves had been one of the 25 original commissioners on the Commission on Eliminating Sexual Harassment and Advancing Equity in the Workplace; also like Tsujihara, he lost his job.
Its commissioners include the heads of the major studios, networks, talent agencies, record labels, trade associations and industry unions.” /> The Commission was formed in late 2017 in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal.
It is our belief that CBS’s new permanent Chairman and CEO will have the requisite authority to function effectively as a Commissioner and to demonstrate CBS’s commitment to the Commission’s critical mission. "The Commission was created when 25 of Hollywood’s most significant institutions – including major studios, television networks, streaming services, music companies, talent agencies, trade associations, and unions – accepted the invitation to work together to set best policies and practices aimed at eliminating sexual harassment and bias in the entertainment industry. That said, we expect to continue working with CBS in the interim, and we look forward to welcoming a new Commissioner from the company at the appropriate time.” "The reason is simple," the statement read. Given this ambitious mandate, it is vital that all of our Commissioners are able to speak for their respective organizations and are empowered to commit them to real action.
“Shortly after the very serious allegations against Les Moonves first surfaced earlier this summer, the Commission on Eliminating Sexual Harassment and Advancing Equality in the Workplace immediately accepted Mr. “We also said that we would work with CBS to name a new Commissioner from CBS. We remain eager to fill this vacancy, and will invite CBS’s new CEO to serve as a Commissioner once the Board of Directors selects Mr. Moonves’s decision to recuse himself from his position as one of our Commissioners,” the Commission said at the time. Moonves’ permanent replacement.
films. Moonves’ fall came after it was revealed that he’d allegedly forced numerous women – including several actresses – to perform oral sex on him; exposed himself to them without their consent and retaliated against them when they rebuffed his advances. Tsujihara’s downfall came after texts revealed he’d engaged in improper behavior with actress Charlotte Kirk and then attempted to help her find roles in Warner Bros.

WarnerMedia Naming Interim Exec Team Tuesday Following Kevin Tsujihara Departure

Word is that the female executive being considered is Warner Bros. Many of these execs haven't even been informed by Stankey yet, so this line-up could change by tomorrow. Consumer Products, DC, and Themed Entertainment. President of Global Brands and Experiences, Pam Lifford, considered to be a very important voice on the Burbank, CA lot. Motion Pictures Group Chairman Toby Emmerich, Warner Bros. Television Group President and CCO Peter Roth, and another executive, most likely female. Lifford's responsibilities include Warner Bros. The speculation is that team will include Warner Bros.
In the wake of new texts that hit the trades about Tsujihara's extramarital affair with British actress Charlotte Kirk and the alleged possibility that he was involved in having her cast in Ocean's 8 and How to Be Single, the executive stepped down this morning, effective immediately.
“Kevin has contributed greatly to the studio’s success over the past 25 years and for that we thank him. Kevin acknowledges that his mistakes are inconsistent with the Company’s leadership expectations and could impact the Company’s ability to execute going forward.” “It is in the best interest of WarnerMedia, Warner Bros., our employees and our partners for Kevin to step down as Chairman and CEO of Warner Bros.,” said WarnerMedia CEO John Stankey in a statement.
CEO & Chairman Kevin Tsujihara's stepping down today, Deadline has confirmed that an interim leadership group will be named tomorrow to takeover the embattled exec's daily duties. UPDATED, 1:01PM Following Warner Bros.
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With Barack & Michelle Obama Chasing, Warner Bros In Final Talks For Will Smith ‘King Richard’ Williams Tennis Sibs Deal

Venus Williams has won seven Grand Slam titles. The Williams sisters went on to become two of the greatest female players in tennis history, with Serena arguably the best ever, with 23 Grand Slam tournament wins. Despite having no tennis background, Williams overcame tremendous hardship, skepticism, his own troubled past — and a few beating from toughs who didn't want to cede the cracked, weedy public courts in Compton to the girls — to raise two of the game’s greatest players. When his daughters were around the age of four, Richard Williams drew up a 78-page plan for their professional tennis careers.
Up against Warner Bros was Universal and Netflix, a bid bolstered by an alignment to another all-star duo, Barack & Michelle Obama. EXCLUSIVE: Warner Bros is looking like the favorite to capture King Richard, a spec script by Zach Baylin that has Will Smith poised to play Richard Williams,  the father of Venus and Serena Williams. This deal will fall in the $60 million budget range, making it as big an auction as we've heard of this year.
This fits that slot. Smith is currently shooting Bad Boys For Life.” /> CAA reps him and brokered the spec auction. Smith, who will next be seen starring in Aladdin for Disney, recently stepped away from reprising in the Suicide Squad sequel.
Allan Mandelbaum and Caleeb Pinkett are exec producers and Mary Solomon and Rick Rickertsen are co-producers. Tim White and Trevor White will produce under their Star Thrower Entertainment banner (their credits include The Post, Wind River and Ingrid Goes West), alongside Smith and his Overbrook Entertainment banner.
Deadline revealed recently that Smith was aligned to play Williams, making King Richard the hot spec package. Also, Smith has a comfort level with Netflix from the David Ayer-directed Bright and its sequel, which paid the actor a fortune because Netflix buys out the backend. Universal and Warner Bros were squarely in the mix, bidding basically on a green lit film to begin production in the fall, and it wasn't easy to compete against Netflix when it really wants something, and then add in the Obamas?